Not Just What but Why

As mothers, we have an awesome responsibility. Throughout God’s Word, I find mothers doing many things, for example: Comforting, teaching, loving, training, encouraging, disciplining, nurturing, feeding, bathing and on and on it goes! Whew! The Lord very graciously placed within our hearts the desire to do all these things for our children. There is one area in particular that I have thought about this week—that is teaching.

Often mothers teach their children “what,” but neglect “why.” I am not saying that you have to tell your children why they should clean their room when you tell them to, but teach them the importance of obedience in every circumstance and the consequence lack of obedience will bring. “Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 Being taught is great, but understanding is what makes a person carry out what they have learned.

I recall memorizing the name, position and job for each of the 206 bones in a human body during high school for a science test. I passed the test, but I don’t remember very much of what I memorized during science now that I have been out of school for ?? years! I learned what they were called, but not why I needed to know or what help it would be to me to understand—until years later when one of my children had metatarsal adductus and I understood the purpose of the bone and what they were doing to fix it.

When Jesus taught the multitudes about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 13, He used several parables. Jesus made sure that everyone He was teaching could understand Him. He appealed to the sower, to the women, to those that would seek treasure, to the merchantman, and to the fishermen. He taught them using terms and examples they could understand. After Jesus told them a parable, He then explained His point so that they could understand the wisdom of His Word. Mom, make sure that you not only give your children the “what” to do, but the “why” we do it when instructing them.

Too often children carry on doing things habitually without understanding why - often times it is not necessary - like the story of the woman that cut off the ends of her roast because her mom did. Years later when her mom saw her doing it, she explained that the only reason she always cut off the ends of the roast was because she did not have a pan big enough for the roast! For years she went through an unnecessary process! In other cases, children stop doing something they grew up doing because they don't know why they did it. I am thinking in particular of when parents don't explain their standards to their children - so the kids grow up, and can't give an explanation of why they do or don't do certain things; they end up dropping their standards to their detriment. I Peter 3:15 says, "...and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Mom, teach your kids to be ready always to give an answer...so I guess that means you should be able to give them an answer as well. As I stated before, this does NOT mean that your kids have the right to ask you "why?" they should obey when you tell them to do something. Children must be taught to obey right away; teach them the importance of obedience - I leave you with this truth..."Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known." Deuteronomy 11:26 - 28
I know that every mother wants her children to be blessed - start training them to that end today!

Have a wonderful day!

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